Maine Hockey Journal

Lewiston overcomes slow start

Lewiston, ME – Gray-New Gloucester/Poland Patriotic Knights (7-4-0) was able to contain Lewiston High School’s (8-0-1) attack for period, but after that the Blue Devils took control the rest of the way in a 6-1 victory Monday evening at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We played pretty good (defensive) zone coverage and played a good system,” said Gray-New Gloucester/Poland Head Coach Aaron Rand of the first period. “We held them to the big ice and let them skate around us.”

Lewiston Head Coach Jamie Belleau knew to expect a tough first period from the Patriotic Knights.

“The message going into the first period was Gray-New Gloucester has some decent skaters, playing (against) us, they will be up for the game,” Belleau said. “You can’t panic and we had our chances in first.”

“If it was 0-0 going into the second period, maybe we would have panicked.”

Matt Ouellette, goalie for the Patriotic Knights, was the reason why the game was scoreless after 15 minutes.

“He’s been very good for us all season,” said Rand. “Halfway through last season where he is today, he’s very consistent for us. We’ve beaten teams that are a lot better then us because of him.”

“Their goalie is legitimately a good goalie,” Belleau added.

Ouellette turned aside 32 shots in the game.

The Blue Devils finally struck in the second period. Colt Steele picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated around the defenseman to put the puck top shelf 45 seconds in the second period. Assists went to Cody Dussault and Sam Cloutier.

Cloutier then crash the net at the 6:40 mark to pick up the loose puck which gave Lewiston the 2-0 lead. Matt Therrien would collect the lone assist on the goal.

“They just shot it a little bit more and had better opportunities,” said Rand of the second period.

Late in the period the Blue Devils would pick up two more goals. With 2:28 remaining Ouellette was able to stop Cloutier’s and Steele’s chances, but had no chance to stop Ben Wigant’s shot from going into the net.

Lewiston accomplished what Belleau wanted in the second period.

“We like to get a three-goal lead, it doesn’t matter who we are playing, given our depth and Cam (Poussard) outback, playing the odds this Lewiston team, it’s going to dig a bigger hole for teams to come back,” said Belleau.

Steele picked up his second goal of the game with 44 seconds remaining in the second stanza. The marker was set-up by Ben Wigant.

Giving up the two late goals blew the wind out of the sails for Gray-New Gloucester.

“That’s what we were hoping to do,” said Rand of trying to keep the deficit at two heading into the third period.

“We settled down and we were a little tired. They are loaded with talent and skated around us. They broke us down a little bit. The fourth goal was tough, coming in the last minute.”

Freshman Patrick DeBlois’ point shot deflected off Kyle Lemelin’s stick to stretch Lewiston’s lead to 5-0. Devon Beland recorded the secondary assist on the goal at the 5:43 mark.

“Patrick’s strengthen is his poise offensively,” Belleau said of his freshman defenseman. “He got good hands and a good shot – he has a great shot when gets rid of it quick. He did that and Kyle went to the net. That’s a good sign for a young kid.”

Devon Ouellette broke Cam Poussard’s shutout bid with 4:02 to play. The assists went to Kaleb Bridgham and Kyan Davala..

Poussard made 20 saves in the victory.

Wigant would cap off the scoring with 14 seconds left to play as he roofed it past Ouellette. Steele picked up the assist on the goal.

Lewiston was 0-for-4 on the power play while Gray-New Gloucester/Poland was 0-for-3.

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